Haines Junction to Fairbanks, border crossing, and solar update

We finally made it to Alaska! In this video, we travel from Pine Lake at Haines Junction, Yukon to Fairbanks, Alaska with a border crossing back into the U.S. We talk about the Pine Lake campground in the last post.

Pushing on down the road

Because Kevin had some work to do and the weather was going to be crappy we decided to push through to Fairbanks. We had decent enough internet to stay, but the weather was going to be crappy so we would’ve been stuck inside anyway. No fun!

The drive was beautiful, again. Towering mountains and busy rivers. Some of the rivers were still iced up quite a bit. That seems crazy at the beginning of June. But that’s probably lower-48 thinking.

mountain views on the alaska highway.

mountain views on the alaska highway.

mountain views on the alaska highway.

mountain views on the alaska highway.

Border crossing

The road before and after the border crossing was terrible! There were loads of frost heaves. One even yanked out the lights cable from the RV to the car. That said, it wasn’t nearly as bad as we’d been led to believe. Go slow, and you won’t have any problems.

Getting to Alaska means crossing back into the U.S. Historically, this has been a little more annoying that it needs to be for us. So we were prepared for an “agricultural search” or whatever.

So far, this was the easiest land crossing we’ve had into the U.S. It was quick, and the border patrol agent shared a bunch of helpful information about what to expect coming up. Told us when we’d get cell signal again and where to find the next fuel. And we didn’t get searched. There was no line. We talk more about the border crossing in the video right after it happened.

Wildlife tally

Our wildlife tally this leg of the journey – three moose and a bunny!

The first two moose we saw was a mom and baby. Sadly we couldn’t get a pic of the baby. Then further down the road, we saw another single moose. And we got video of that one. I also saw a bunny that was dark on top and white underneath.

a moose in alaska.

Fun fact: the average moose has a pint of blood a day taken by mosquitos.

Wallydocking

We parked at the Walmart in Fairbanks. They have a couple of dozen RV spots. So far it’s been busy but not packed out. Maybe a dozen RVs have been here each night.

This store is a 24-hour Walmart, so people are coming and going all hours. It’s not always noisy, but it can be. People like vehicles with loud or non-existent mufflers here. There’s also a street sweeper that cleans the lot every so often early in the morning.

If you need an oil change for your RV, the auto center here has larger bays and will do it.

Solar update

The solar install has been awesome! So far we haven’t had to use our generator. The batteries haven’t been below 70%. And since they’re lithium, we can take them down to 20% if needed.

We haven’t been conserving our power usage at all. We use the coffee grinder and pot, the microwave, the induction plate, and the instant pot whenever we want. If we’re home, the router is on, and we’ve got our devices plugged in.

Intro recorded at Lunch Cafe in Fairbanks, AK. It’s vegan and gluten-free friendly and has lovely coffee.

Kevin sings the chorus to Should I Stay or Should I Go – The Clash in case you can’t get that out of your head.

Check out all the videos in our Alaska 2018 adventure here.

Next post: Summer Solstice in Fairbanks and Chena Hot Springs

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Laura Nunemaker

About the Author

Laura Nunemaker

vegan. digital nomad. cycling. scuba. intj. former vegan bakery owner.

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